Sunday, August 29, 2010

Buffy 2x20 - "Go Fish"

(Once again, apologies for the lack of images or a quote in this review. That's how this will have to be for the next few days. I'll edit them in later.)

"Go Fish" is perhaps not as remarkable as "Only Have Eyes for You," and certainly not significant to the ongoing plot of Buffy in any notable way, but it is a pretty solid hour of television. It features some great humor, a pretty interesting mystery, and a dose of some classic Buffy metaphor.

Probably the most interesting thing about this episode is not the plot or the monster itself, which is pretty run-of-the-mill, but the real-life school aspects that dominate the first half of the episode. I'm referring specifically to the issues of the favoritism shown to athletes, as well as the tendency to shift blame toward Buffy when she's sexually harassed. The last episode showed us a bit of Principal Snyder's more sinister side with regard to his knowing more than he lets on about the supernatural goings-on in Sunnydale. Snyder shows a more mundane kind of villainy here, but it's no less loathsome.

The unraveling of what's really going on is kind of interesting, but when we finally learn the truth about the coach's use of performance-enhancing drugs strains the credulity. His depravity is too cartoonish, and not grounded enough in any sort of believable motivation. And the explanation he gives for where the drug comes from (something about the Cold War) seems a bit bizarre, perhaps distractingly so.

But overall, it's hard to have too many bad feelings about an episode which includes Cordelia's monologue to the fish-man she thinks is Xander, when she promises to still care about him even though he's now a hideous monster. It's a bit touching, but mostly just hilarious.

So, all in all, it's a pretty run-of-the-mill episode before heading into a big two-part finale.

  • Angel's presence in this episode seems a bit strange, as he doesn't have much to do with the plot. But he is a member of the main cast, so they fit him in. I think i've said this before, but even though it makes the episode seem a little unfocused, it's interesting how the presence of Angel makes Buffy's world just a bit more hostile.
  • This episode gives more time and attention to Jonathan than any other so far. Basically, by this point he's transition from being a bit of an easter egg to a full-fledged guest star, although he's still credited as "co-starring" in the end credits rather than with the guest stars in the opening.


  1. It's amazing what you notice the second time around! I don't even remember Jonathan being in any episodes before "Earshot!" This episode is also awesome for any Xander fangirls because I think this episode is the closest we ever get to seeing him naked. ;)

  2. And it is pretty damn close--the scene of all the girls (Willow included) drooling over the hot bot before they realize it's Xander is one of this era's funniest I think.